Joshua Cheptegei gets his award from chief guest, Frank Tumwebaze
Joshua Cheptegei claps after being named the best overall athelete

Commonwealth double gold medallist Joshua Cheptegei  was on Friday night named the best sports personality for the year 2018, by the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA).

This happened during a glamorous awards dinner held at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

Cheptegei, who was present at the awards, fresh from Denmark where Uganda managed a 1-2 finish as well as had four athletes in the top 10 positions during the Cross Country.

The Denmark success was his maiden personal and country gold medal in the event smiled ear to ear as he received the accolade from the chief guest, Frank Tumwebaze, the minister for Information Technology and Communications.

Joshua Cheptegei gets his award from chief guest, Frank Tumwebaze

This is a big honour to be named the best of all sportsmen in the country. Personally, this award motivates me.

Joshua Chepetgei

Cheptegei won the 5000m and 10000m double at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018.

He was also named the male athlete of the year, as Stellah Chesang won the female title.

Chepetegei recieves the male athlete of the year award
Stellah Chesang (right) with her trophy

To win the award, he beat Rugby Cranes player Phillip Wokorach, She Cranes netball ace Lillian Ajao and Uganda Cranes captain Denis Onyango.

As consolation, Ajao, Wokorach and Onyango were named the best in their respective sports circles.

Meanwhile, Phillip Wokorach became the first sportsman to win the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) fan’s choice award.

The category that was introduced for the first time and the fans had to vote online.

Wokorach. who was absent on the ceremony because he is away with the national 7s team in the HongKong series, was also named named the best male rugby player of the year.

In the same vein, veteran Tennis player now turned coach John Oduke took home the USPA legendary award.

Oduke,51, won an unprecedented 13 Uganda Open titles, the last coming in 1996.

John Oduke

I am privileged to have been recognised with the legendary award. I thank the main sponsors (Nile Special) and all the other partners as well as USPA for recognising me

John Oduke, veteran tennis player

Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) was named the most outstanding federation of the year as the Africa ParaOlympic badminton tournament at Lugogo won the best sports event of the year.

All the respective excelling sportsmen and women in the various disciplines were also awarded.

Female basketballer of the year, Jamila Nansikombi with her trophy
Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) boss Dominic Otuchet rewards male basketballer Jimmy Enabu

To win four consecutive accolades as the best male basketballer of the year is no mean feat. It show character, hard work and determination. I am honoured to have won yet another title

Jimmy Enabu, Male basketballer of the year

Sportsmen, women, sports journalists, federation and associations leaders or representatives, current and previous USPA leaders, sponsors, partners, as well as the other guests attended the colourful event.

Guests wined and dined with the celebrations spiced by an energetic performance from music diva Lydia Jazmine.

Pool Cream: Best male pool player Mansoor ‘Muto’ Bwanika (left) with Ritah Nimusiima (right)
Some of the winners on the night show off their trophies.

It is a good USPA recognises the best outstanding sportsmen. Sports now needs to be taken seriously as an independent profession. When I was studying at college, there were boys who were always playing outside class. We despised them and thought they were failures. Let’s transform sports from leisure to professions

Frank Tumwebaze

Tumwebaze vowed to pass on the message for the success of the USPA SACCO to the first lady who is also the minister of education of sports.

In his speech, the USPA Patron, also the state minister of sports, Hon, Charles Bakabulindi, he promised to support USPA for as long as it will last.

Charles Bakabulindi, state minister for sports and USPA patron
USPA President, Patrick Kanyomozi promised that the sports journalists will adhere to the expected codes and ethics. He also warned parties that disrespect journalists.
The MC’s Alex Muhangi (left) and Andrew Kabuura lived to their expected billing

The sports journalists’ umbrella body was founded 49 years ago.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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